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Arts Council England launches employment programme for young people

  • Date: 11 September 2012
  • Area: National

Today we have launched the Creative employment programme to help young unemployed people find paid entry level work in the arts and cultural sector.

What will the programme do?

The programme is designed to support up to 6,500 new apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships and paid internships across the arts and cultural sector.

The programme aims to provide unemployed people aged 16-24 (graduate and non-graduate) with paid opportunities to gain access to on the job training, skills and experience in the arts and cultural sector.

The Arts Council is opening a commissioned grant for applications to find a national provider who will deliver the programme.

The launch of the programme comes at a time when many young people across the country are struggling to find paid employment and takes forward one of the Arts Council goals - to create fairer entry routes into the arts and cultural sector and increase workforce diversity as set out in its 10-year plan for the arts, Achieving great art for everyone.

How much funding is available?

The successful applicant will receive up to £15 million to deliver the programme and help subsidise new opportunities which will directly benefit unemployed young people until March 2015.

How to apply

Applications can be made on the Arts Council website, with guidance available here. The deadline for applications is Thursday 4 October.

Vital development for young people

Andrea Stark, Executive Director, Arts Council England, said:

'The Creative employment programme is a fantastic and vital development for young people interested in working in arts and culture.

'If young people cannot gain entry into the sector workforce we risk losing a generation of talent, which would potentially have an adverse impact on the art that is produced, distributed and attended by the wider population.

'This programme gives young people the opportunity to gain skills and experience that potential employers will value, removes the barrier of lack of paid work experience, and helps boost the start of their career in the sector.'

Expanding on work started by the sector

The Creative employment programme builds on work started by the sector to provide fairer entry routes for young people. 1,800 Creative Apprenticeships have been delivered over the past four years as well as two initiatives - the Creative Jobs Programme and the DCMS Jerwood Creative Bursaries Scheme.

The DCMS Jerwood Creative Bursaries Scheme for new arts graduates was developed and managed by the Jerwood Foundation and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. From March 2010 to March 2012, 42 new paid work placements were created in 42 arts organisations across England. 90 per cent of participants were employed in the arts at the conclusion of the pilot. 24 per cent of host organisations went on to establish the role permanently in their organisation following participation in the scheme.

Arts Council England, Royal Opera House (ROH), LOCOG, Legacy Trust UK and BP partnered on the Creative Jobs Programme, which launched at the end of May to coincide with the London 2012 Festival. The programme has given 40 unemployed young people the opportunity for six months' paid work at one of the organisations involved in the Cultural Olympiad.

Find out more about the Creative employment programme and how to apply.

Read more about our work on workforce development.